Three months ago when I was still 17, I lived in Arizona but went with my stepdad to visit family in Delaware. We were staying at my nana’s house while she was on vacation. The only other person in her house was her dog sitter. My stepdad was very strict but he agreed to let me smoke weed for the first time. He had always said he wanted to be the first to smoke with me. He gave me tequila shots and after 6 I do not remember how many more I drank. I smoked a joint with him. He asked to play truth or dare and I agreed. His questions became very personal. He asked me if I’d ever orgasmed and dared me to take my bra off and dance in a pole like a stripper. I don’t remember ever getting to my bed, all I remember is waking up with him knelt by my bed with his hands all over my legs and hip. I was frozen and couldn’t believe what was happening. I finally stretched and pretended to wake up when his hand touched the front of my vagina through my shorts. I ran out of the room and bumped into him and I could tell he was naked. He then ran to his bed. I went downstairs and called my mom who was in Arizona. She did not answer. Then I heard him looking for me. I got scared and hid behind a chair in the living room and called my nana. She answered and told me how to get to my uncles house not that far from her house. I couldn’t tell which was his so I ran up and down his street barefoot with no glasses and knocked on every door until he answered one of them. When we had finally gotten ahold of my mom everyone said she was on my side but when I talked to her, she blamed me. She said his mother had warned him years ago about me. I was only a kid and she tried to claim I had been too flirty with him. I had to cut her from my life because she refused to leave him, and in turn had to cut out my entire world-my baby sister. The courts have it pounded in my brain I don’t have a case because it will always be his word against mine. But in cases like this there is no physical evidence. It makes me wonder how many cases like this go without notice because the DA feels there is a lack of evidence. I feel like I should get over what happened to me sooner than I am because I had the least of many people’s experiences, but I feel I’ve still suffered loss. Loss of my mother, my home I never got to say goodbye to, my sister and the other one unborn. Nonetheless I am hurt. And I have been betrayed. And I need to accept that even though I didn’t have it a quarter as bad as others, I suffered trauma too. And maybe then I’ll start to heal.
— Kat, age 18